How-to: Sit down with knees close to your chest, feet on the floor. Keeping your body close to vertical, hold behind your knees and lift your feet to bring shins parallel to the ground. Release your hands and stretch arms straight forward. Lean back slightly as you stretch your legs toward straight.
Tips: Keep your chest open and shoulders back rather than rounded forward. Practice keeping your body and thighs closer to vertical by keeping knees bent. If your tailbone gets in the way when straightening legs, sit on a towel or blanket.
Benefits: Builds strength in the abdomen and tops of upper thighs.
Michael Taylor is a yoga guide at Strala Yoga in New York City. (Michael prefers "guide" to "instructor"). He's practiced Eastern movement and healing techniques for more than two decades. He holds a degree in mind-body medicine from Harvard, and studied alternative medicine and psychology at Oxford. Mike is also the CEO of social media company Odyl, climbs a few mountains in his spare time, and is the husband of yoga master Tara Stiles.